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LXI        LITERATURE UNDER MONGOLS      231
he was enslaved by the Crusaders until ransomed by an
acquaintance. According to one account Sadi performed
the pilgrimage to Mecca fifteen times, in itself a remark-
able record of travel when the distances and means of
communication are considered. Other countries visited
were Egypt, Abyssinia, and Asia Minor.
When middle-aged this Persian Ulysses returned
to Shiraz, which he ever loved, and published the fruits
of his travel and experience of life in the Gulistan, or
"Rose Garden," in the Eustan^ or "Orchard," and in other
works. The first-named, which students of Persian
generally attempt when beginning to learn the language,
although by reason of its terse epigrammatic form it is by
no means an easy text-book, is more read and better known
by all classes in Persia than any other work except the
Koran. In its pages we sit behind the curtain with the
poet and join him in all his adventures, laughing with
him at his astuteness, and realizing how far removed
Eastern ethics are from those we profess. As an example
of this we may refer to the very first story, which points
the moral thatcc an expedient lie is better than a mischiev-
ous truth " ; and again, a soldier who deserted in battle
is defended because his pay was in arrears. Such were
the ethics Sadi preached, and such they remain in Persia
to-day ; if we ignore this fact we fail to grasp the Persian
point of view. As Browne says, " His writings are a
microcosm of the East, alike in its best and most ignoble
aspects."
Of the Gulistan the following lines, translated by
E. B. Eastwick, are typical:
Life is like snow in July's sun :
Little remains and is there one
To boast himself and vaunt thereon ?
With empty hand thou hast sought the mart;
I fear thou wilt with thy turban part.
Who eat their corn while yet 'tis green
At the true harvest can but glean;
To Sadi's counsel let thy soul give heed :
This is the way—be manful and proceed.
To conclude, I give a charming translation by Browne
of an ode on beloved Shiraz :